Mind over Madness–Expressive Art Promotes Wellness

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
— Albert Einstein

Not everyone classifies themselves as an artist.  I certainly don’t. My mom has Martha Stewart schooled, and everything she touches is a magnificent creation.  Sadly, it seems that her talent skipped me and went straight to my gifted, artist children. The thing is, though, that it’s the process of creating art that acts as a salve to our souls and NOT a perfect finished product. Every single one of us can express ourselves through art in some way, shape, or form! Perhaps you already have an artistic hobby that you have let collect dust or maybe you are poised to try something new.  The possibilities for expression are truly endless.  Here are a few ideas: Painting, sculpting, drawing, knitting, sewing, gardening, floral arranging,  cooking, makeup application, singing, acting, decorating cakes etc…etc…

My two creative outlets are gardening and cooking. I have the tendency to let these loves sit on the back burner when I feel overwhelmed by life.  During the first couple of years of my son’s life,  we were seeing all the specialists and searching for his diagnosis.  I was not well honestly, and I didn’t garden or cook creatively nearly at all.  Weeds took over my yard, and I started buying simple meals for the sake of paring down the responsibilities in my life.  When I decided to return to work, I also started batch cooking. Then the nanny would be able to just pull something from the freezer for dinner.  It felt amazing to really cook in the kitchen again.  I had the epiphany that cooking is a therapeutic activity for me and marveled at how wonderful it felt to create in the kitchen.  Additionally, we moved to a new house recently, and I’ve started planting perennials and vegetables.  Getting my hands in the soil, putting together a visually appealing garden, and watching the plants grow and bloom is healing and soothing to my soul.  I’ve learned a pretty important lesson; those life giving activities are necessities for my mental health, physical wellness, and emotional stability.They are not luxuries to participate in when I have extra time. Going forward, I am making these activities a priority so that I can love myself and my people better!   Are you neglecting a creative hobby?  Now that you are home more, can you pursue an art?

Abstract acrylic color brush stroke | High-Quality Abstract Stock ...

Tips for Creating Art

  • Make a plan: Form an idea of what you want to create.  Make an outline or a sketch of what you want your finished project to look like.  Look online for inspiration if you need it. 
  •  Gather supplies: Having everything all ready to go and organized when you begin makes the project flow smoother, and quicker, and helps keep frustration down. 
  • Carve out time: Make intentional time and space in your life to hone your craft.  The more you dive in, the more benefits you will experience as you watch your project develop and your skills improve. 
  • Improvise: Expect the unexpected.  There will always be hiccups along the way!  Try to roll with it and make the best of the problem.  
  • Enjoy!  If the activity is merely frustrating and you aren’t enjoying yourself, move on and try something else that will be life giving.
  • Share your craft:  Developing relationships around shared interests broadens your exposure.  You can learn new techniques, share materials, and get to know one another through admiring one another’s work! 

Activity with Kids:

Make a nature face: 

  • Go outside and collect materials in nature (pine straw, pebbles, leaves, flowers, dirt). 
  • Find objects that inspire you for different features ie: hair, eyes, nose, mouth. 
  • Use sturdy cardboard as your base.   
  • Lay out your nature pieces in the formation of your choice. 
  • Use hot glue to mount them onto the board.  
  • Think about the emotion that your face is making.  When have you felt that same way?

 

Further Reading

http://www.liverpoolartcenter.com/health-benefits-of-expressive-arts

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